When Myrna’s daughter was a year and a half, she learned her daughter had a genetic mutation that affects her brain. At a loss for what to do as a parent and in search of support, she found the San Francisco-based organization Support for Families of Children With Disabilities.
Myrna now works for the organization as a family resource specialist, providing families on different parts of the journeys the same support she received herself.
Support for Families, which mainly serves families based in San Francisco, provides parent-to-parent support for parents and caregivers of children with special needs, brain injuries, developmental disabilities or delays, mental health concerns, and any chronic healthcare needs.
Myrna said the term “neurodiversity” is often used to include all of those children. She said families of those children often face obstacles around inclusion, such as being able to access things and services their child needs.
“We’ve all experienced that with our kids,” Myrna said. Despite the fact that her daughter has different needs, Myrna said she still wants her to be included in society and live independently. She said her hopes for her daughter include access to mobility, so she can get around by herself without relying on someone else.
She believes autonomous driving technology like Waymo’s, which conducts all the tasks of driving so that humans can remain passengers, could help her daughter and children like her.
“Having [that] technology at their fingertips, they could be independent just like every other neurotypical person,” Myrna said. “The thought of having that as a possibility for her to be independent is something that gives me hope that she could have that independence that I once enjoyed.”
For Brain Injury Awareness Month, Myrna said she wanted families of children with disabilities to understand one message. “If you are experiencing brain injury within your child or your family, whatever that looks like, there are resources there to support you and Support for Families is one of those resources.”
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